On 16 November 2023, Piaggio P180 Avanti EVO I-PDVO (c/n 3022) performed its official rollout and ferry flight from Piaggio Aerospace in Villanova d’Albenga, Italy. After taking off from the Villanova d'Albenga Riviera Airport, it reached the Piaggio Aerospace hangars in Genoa, where it will go through more tests, interior completion, and painting.
In April 2019, financially beleaguered Italian aircraft manufacturer Piaggio Aerospace was getting a boost from the Italian Ministry of Defence (MoD), which included an order for nine P180 Avanti EVOs turboprops. In October 2021, the Italian MoD confirmed approval for a second batch of six aircraft to replace legacy units.
The first nine P180 Avanti EVOs should go to the Aeronautica Militare (ItAF, Italian Air Force), which will receive five (standard) P180 EVO+ and four P180 EVO+ in the Radio Misure (flight inspection plus radio and radar calibration) configuration, replacing the four examples now in use with the 71° Gruppo at Pratica di Mare air base near Rome. The destination of the second batch of six aircraft is not known yet.
The Piaggio P180 Avanti is an Italian executive transport aircraft with twin turboprop engines mounted in pusher configuration. It seats up to nine people in a pressurised cabin and may be flown by one or two pilots. The design has a three-surface configuration, with a small forward wing and a conventional tail plane as well as its main wing, with the main wing spars passing behind the passenger cabin area.
The P180 Avanti EVO is a third-generation aircraft and was announced in 2014. The EVO offers a maximum speed of 745km/h, making it the world’s fastest multi-utility turboprop. It incorporates upgraded features that increase efficiency, enhance safety and comfort, as well as lower operational cost.
The new variant offers greater range, faster climb, lower noise footprint, world-class safety systems, and a spacious cabin. It is also characterized by a lower emission rate and fuel economy by using new Hartzell composite propellers, with blades of scimitar configuration.
The first Piaggio P180 Avanti EVO was delivered in April 2015. Current overview of Italian Air Force P180s:
CAE Multi Crew at Pratica di Mare
P180AM: MM62199, MM62203, MM62205, MM62206 and MM62207
71° Gruppo at Pratica di Mare
P180AM: MM62200, MM62202 and MM62204
P180RM: MM62160, MM62162, MM62163 and MM62164
P180: MM62286 and MM62287
311° Gruppo RSV at Pratica di Mare
Piaggio Aerospace in Genoa
One P180AM, serial MM62159 and operated by the 311° Gruppo RSV, was lost on 18 October 2018.
Credit photo: Piaggio Aerospace